Sunday, November 16, 2008

Here I go again!

On Friday I lit a candle to remember a sweet baby girl who passed away. A friend of mine's baby was stillborn, and Friday was her due date. I know that this weekend has been really tough for the baby's parents. I did ordinary things that day, like go to the grocery store, and clean house thinking about the grieving family the whole time. Y'all know who you are and I hope you find peace this weekend.

Today was Jon's birthday party. I made the cake he wanted, and bought the party stuff in the theme he chose. We invited his friends for a sleepover. We ordered pizza and we were supposed to go bowling. We have only seen that bowling alley full on league nights, and tonight was glow bowling night. Everyone and their dog showed up and so there was no bowling for us. The boys weren't too bummed about it. They came home and played video games. They went into Jon's room and we haven't seen them much. Lots of laughing, and the occasional run for soda and pizza. I hope they're having a good time.

As a party favor I made Tshirts. I bought some iron-on letters and they told me how they wanted them, and also some little iron-on sports balls. One child wanted his name vertical, one straight across the front, the other straight across the back and Jon wanted his diagonal. Two boys wanted their shirt cuffs adorned in the balls, one wanted just one on his shirt, and Jon wanted two footballs. Each shirt was unique and they loved them. I'd no idea it would go over so big. They were quite specific with the letter and sports ball placement.

So now it is after midnight, so it's Sunday the 16th and I feel like a loser, big time since I *just* remembered that today/Saturday was my parents anniversary and I feel like a huge tool for forgetting to call them. Yes, I was busy, and yes, I sent a card, but still. Duh, me! I will call them in the morning. What's on the agenda for Sunday? Sleep. As soon as I offload the sleepover invitees, and the baby goes down for a nap, so am I! I am so very tired. I am only staying up for 20 more minutes and then I'm off to bed.

I stayed up for a while hoping the boys would settle down. I finished off and fringed one scarf, and finished off a second. Both had been languishing on my needles for awhile. Now I need to fringe the second one but I don't feel like it right now. Well that is about it. I'm so tired. Night, y'all.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A few days' recap

Eh, I got sidetracked. I did attempt to make the covered wagon. No pictures were taken because I was so discouraged by the fact that the finished product did not even come close to resembling the image in my head. I baked the cake, then layered the pound cakes on top. I baked pie pastry draped over an upturned loaf pan to make it look like the cover part, and it did. Sort of. But I didn't trim down the cakes and the pound cakes stuck out the front, and the bottom layer was way too big. The donut wagon wheels were cute, but just not cutting it. I didnt even attempt the graham cracker driver's seat. My son came home and laughed at it, and on Saturday we had company come over and they couldn't tell what it was. I just had this perfect image in my head, and it fell horribly flat. No way am I taking pictures and posting my shame for all to see!

Like I said, on Saturday some friends came to visit and see our new house. We enjoyed having them. One of these days we will make it down to their neck of the woods!

On Sunday, Steve slept on the couch and watched football. This is nothing new, but he has been getting migraines lately and was feeling like crap so I didn't bust his chops for "wasting" a Sunday on the couch in front of the TV.

Steve was at the lodge for a late meeting Monday night and I took a bath. Shhh, don't tell the kids, since I tell them they must take showers since taking baths wastes water. I sneak my occasional bath in after they are asleep. I left the lights off, (because of the obnoxiously loud automatic fan) lit some scented tealights, scattered them around the bathroom and soaked away, re-reading Harry Potter.

Tuesday the kids were off school for Veteran's Day and this sparked a discussion about the military, wars and also the Holocaust. Jon hasn't heard about it in school yet, so we told him about it. We told him of the gas chambers and of six million Jewish souls exterminated. He couldn't wrap his head around hating someone for their religion, and he didn't understand hte gas chamber. He asked us why the Jewish people didn't grab a gas mask? As if any person has a random gas mask hanging around, much less a prisoner in the camps, right? We tried to explain and ended up just looking it up on the internet to show him how they slept in bunks, and weren't properly fed or clothed, how they were cold, hungry, used for slave labor, hideously maltreated and murdered. Those pictures said more than we could.

Wednesday was a short day at school, which the kids love. Yay for early dismissal!

Today is Thursday. I took the baby to one of the playgroups that we go to. She wanted nothing to do with singing songs. She was crawling all over, happily ignoring me until the leader brought out the musical instruments. Stephie loves to shake bells and rattles. She also likes to see the other babies there, even if one did use her head as a drum, bonking it with a maraca. Stephie looked puzzled until she decided it hurt and started to cry as me & the other mom raced over to help. You really can't move too fast in a room with 15 crawling babies.

So what's on my agenda? Cleaning. Some maintenance tidying for the main floor of the house, and soem continued in-depth cleaning of my front room. Jon's slumber party is in two nights, and also we have my parents coming for Christmas. The house needs to be cleaned and kept up. Tonight I am undertaking the scintillating task of making the grocery list, to include two weeks worth of food, plus party snacks for two slumber parties (Jon's *and* Katie's) and Thanksgiving. I love that I have a second fridge to thaw my turkey in! Whee!

Well I should shut up and go clean. I will keep posting regularly, I promise!

Friday, November 07, 2008

And now, today!

The PTO is hosting a Barn Bash tonight. We don't own any western wear but we are going to go. We are supposed to bring a handmade covered wagon for a wagon parade. Last night I was crabby and was NOT into trying to create a damn covered wagon. I was leafing through a catalog when lo an behold, they had a covered wagon kit, to build. Of course I coudln't order it in time but I stared at it and noticed that the covered part kind of draped like pie pastry or fondant and it came to me: Food! Make a food wagon!

So I baked a 13x9x2 for the wagon part. Pound cake will be the covered part and I draped a pie pastry over an upside down loaf pan to hold its shape and be the actual cover. I have icing set aside to cover the cake and vanilla breadsticks to be the railings. Graham crackers will be the driver's seat. And for the wheels? Donuts, held in place with extra vanilla breadsticks as axles. It won't be functional, but they said to be creative, so I was.

Time to get the baby up for lunch! Chicken and black bean tacos for dinner!

Thursday Nov 6th

Hmm, let's pretend that's what day it is. I got my blood drawn to check my cholesterol. I put the baby down for a nap. I got her up and fed her. I got the kids from school. It was cold and rainy and lousy weather. Dinner was shrimp & broccoli alfredo. The kids ate the last of the ice cream sandwiches. Last night I made Jon's birthday invitations. He likes them. Katie is excited for me to make hers. That's about it. :-)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

I got my flu shot today

I told the nurse that I am a huge needle baby and so she was smacking me on the arm to desensitize my nerves, kind of like my dentist does by flapping my lips or cheeks when he is shooting me up with Novocain. Sending too many confusing messages from the nerves to the brain, so it hurts less. Or something. So I got my flu shot. Stephie has had hers, and the older kids are getting theirs with their well child visits in a few weeks.

Tomorrow I get my blood drawn to check my cholesterol. I had it checked ten years ago, so I guess I am due. I am trying to cut back/eliminate caffeine, so I am off soda again. You know it is one thing if I have a soda on the occasional trip out, but I was sucking down the Pepsi at home. Talk about a waste of money, too! Water is free and I have reuseable water bottles, so I've no excuse. In just 24 hours of no soda, I have ankles again. Yay for less water retention!

Now, onto the election. My kids were rooting for different candidates. Katie wanted McCain, since he was in the Navy like Steve is. Jon wanted Obama like the majority of his classmates. The new president was declared so much sooner than I expected--I thought the results would take hours and hours to come in, but no, at 11PM it was all over. I went to check on the kids, turn off lights, cover them up (yes I still do it) and of course, they popped their little eyes open. Jon was happy, and Katie was most certainly not. It was funny to watch.

I had previously told the kids that no matter who was elected, we would be making history. If Obama and Biden won, we would have our first black president, and if McCain and Palin were elected, we would have the oldest President as well as the first female VP. I told them it was exciting to be old enough to remember living through history as it was being made. Katie was interested but Jon was not. He said he has had too much election overload. Two years, little man. We've all had enough campaigning and we are all glad it is over!

Tomorrow after my blood draw, the baby and I go to playgroup. Yay! We go to two, and the other one was canceled so we have missed going and playing with friends.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

A quick post before bed

OK, it is after midnight, so here is a quick post for today. Lately I have been watching shows on BBC America, like How Clean Is Your House? It has a pair of ladies who know everything about cleaning. I watch and see some positively filthy houses. Dens of squalor, I tell you. It makes me feel better about my clutter. At least it is clean clutter. Just a lot of stuff, not unwashed items or rotting food trash all over, with a house that crawls with pests and smells awful.

These ladies also know tricks with everyday kitchen items to clean the house. They use the phrase "cheap and cheerful." For instance one house was infested with flies because of hte state of the rotting food trash. She said there was no reason to buy fly strips--and then she took painters tape (for easy removal from the window where she hung it) and painted it with a thin coating of honey. Then she stuck the long strip of tape on a windowpane. She said the flies would be attracted to the honey and then get stuck. They checked a short while later and then strip of honey tape had six flies on it.

They also said once to stop buying your trash, meaning quit buying expensive, chemical laden products with tons of packaging that you just end up throwing away. They use housey things like lemon juice, plain salt, warm water, dish liquid, plain white vinegar and sometimes household borax, and something called "biological washing powder." I have to look that up. They make cleaning even nasty filth seem so easy.

It has inspired me to do the small jobs that are most likely to get put off for later, washing walls, scrubbing out trash cans, scrubbing baseboards, dusting all over. It has opened my eyes to the fact that dust accumulates all over.

About the buying your trash thing, though, I am torn. I'd love to spend less money on household cleaners. I'd love to use less harsh chemicals around my home and family. However I love the Scrubbing Bubbles Toilet Wand with its disposable scrubby heads. I despise using a traditional germ-ridden toilet brush, and keeping it in its drippy holder, in my bathroom. What a nasty eyesore. I love the toilet wand so very much, and now, I love the toilet gel they make. You press a dollop of the goo under the rim on an already cleaned toilet, and it keeps it clean for a week, and smelling fresh. Love it, love it, love it. I am conflicted about the trash & chemicals versus ease, convenience and being more sanitary though.

I should go to sleep now. I have a bit more cleaning to do in the morning and I need to get up early. I am watching Young Bess, though, and it is intriguing. I'm recording it, so I can watch it later.

Monday, November 03, 2008

And now, today.

I woke up on time, got the kids off to school and settled in for a phone session that left me spent. I have such a headache.

I had to call to get the baby an appointment at the eye doctor for her annual check for ROP. Then I had to call the ped to get the referral sent over. I left a message for a potential therapist for Jon. I called my health clinic so I can actually go and get in their system, get a doctor and perhaps a flu shot. I called my insurance company only to find out they do not cover something I want them to cover. Buttheads. I have been on the phone with WIC, and will be again soon. For the last place I was supposed to call, I am opting to email rather than call them. I have been leaving messages, getting callbacks and playing phone tag and I am just exhausted.

Everything is mostly sorted out but ugh. I'm tired. I also put dinner in the crock pot. I am serving chicken in a creamy sauce over either pasta or mashed potatoes. Side of sugar snap peas, which shockingly, everyone ate the last time I served them, and did not complain.

I washed dishes and cleared the kitchen counters while I was on the phone, now I just need to wash the floors. I have to tidy the main floor since Stephie's eval is tomorrow for her Early Intervention services. It is also Election Day, as well as parent-teacher conference day at Katie's school. Then, Steve goes out of town tomorrow afternoon for three or four days. Busy busy, busy.

I have my doctor appointment on Wednesday, early since it is early dismissal day. Fun, fun, fun.

I refilled my birdfeeders yesterday because there is a huge flock of about a hundred tiny brown birds that come around if there is food. They hide in the bushes near the feeders and pop out, taking turns to eat. There is also a beautiful male blue jay who is a lazy little man. He sits on the ground and eats what they brown birds drop. He is also a loudmouth bird, screeching at the two squirrels who think it is a good idea to eat the pickin's from the ground also. He is all bluff though, since the two fat squirrels ignore him and scurry over. Then he backs away, complaining noisily. Oddly, all of this did not make my headache worse. :-) They are cute to watch.


I forgot day two. Oh well, I'll do two posts today.

My dream last night was so weird. I dreamt that our neighbors had a candy apple red station wagon. (They don't.) And while I was watching, it sank into the ground because all of a sudden we were living on houses built over a swamp???

Inside our house, which had a banquet room, we were hosting a dinner for Steve and his coworkers, and during the dinner he was told he had been promoted. I can still see his face because with this promotion came more responsibility and he is already stressed as it is.

I went over and told him, "Congratulations on your promotion" in a breathy, Marilyn Monroe-style voice. Then I told him that the neighbor's car sank and the swamp water was oozing through our walls. Our house ws next. He had to break up the party while I packed the car.

I ran to the other parts of the house, grabbing stuff to take. The kids, the dogs, some clothes, etc. I kept running back and forth. I was exhausted when I woke up.

The dream kind of broke up oddly. Our house was starting to sink slowly, but not as a whole. Just one corner, one side. The wall disintegrated. It was kind of crumbled like a soggy cookie to reveal our backyard. The carpet was getting wet also, and more of the house was going to sink, and that was when we got out of there. Then I woke up.

I think the whole sinking house thing was because I was looking at, at their "the big picture" feature and it showed before and afters of this city in Yemen whose houses were washed away and crumbled due to storms and flooding. They were tall buildings, not just huts, but they were just turned into goo because they were made of mud bricks. Just add (too much) water, and the whole city was demolished.

Odd dream.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


So I am doing NaNoWriMo, which is National Novel Writing Month. Try to write a 50,000 word (minimum)novel in a month. An average of 1,667 words a day. I tried in 2006 and failed, and was too busy last year. I tried NaBloPoMo last year, and almost got it. It stands for National BlogPost(a-Day)Month. Try to do a blog post per day. This year I am trying to do both and since I wrote my quota for today in NaNo, here my requirement for NaBlo.

So we had a nice Halloween. Jon was a Lego Bionicle, Katie was a devil and Stephie was a baby duck. The dogs wore hot dog suits. I was a Rubik's cube. I decorated the outside of the house with spiderwebs and we passed out some candy before going out ourselves.

Now we are moving toward Thanksgiving, and the kids' birthdays. Jon wants a sleepover and a Lego brick cake--I have a cake mold to do this. Katie changes her mind daily. Today's event is bowling. I can round up a few girls and take them bowling, no problem! I can even make her a bowling pin and bowling ball cake! Hee!

All the leaves fell off my tree and I need to refill my bird feeders. I also have to knit a minimum of 5 rows per day on this one project and I can finish it in 18 days, but I didn't do any rows yesterday and I've only done 2 for today so I better sign off. I have to catch up on 8 rows! TTYTomorrow!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Six weeks later...

I swear I need to update more often. I have blog post ideas or tidbits that occur to me and never seem to grab a minute to type them out. So what have I been up to? Well like I said in the last post, I moved. I made friends with a neighbor who turned out to be a possessive crazy stalker lady. I am now avoiding her like the plague, which includes, but is not limited to, shutting the door in her face to drive the point home that I DO NOT want to play with her NO MORE.

She is quite the scary nutball, telling me things like if I go off and find other friends and do things without her she will be sad, but she will be really pissed if I do things without her with people she knows. What? How do you argue with crazy? She is also just plain mean, encouraging her kids to be mean to/ignore mine. Bad thing is, she is two doors down. Oh well, she is moving next year. The day she is packed out, I am throwing a party!!!I can see it--next summer, when school lets out. I can do a barbecue or pizza & beer, or oooohhh a taco bar! Who cares, as long as she is gone! I will crank up music and my guests and I will do a pinata and the limbo in my front yard. Can you say FIESTA!

So I am immersing myself in programs that the area has to offer: a local knitting group, a cross stitch group and two playgroups for my baby so she can be well socialized, learn to share, and of course, catch germs. No sooner do I expose her to a passel of kids, does she get the neverending shoestring-type-snot runny nose. You know, where you wipe and wipe and it still.keeps.coming. Ugh.

I am endeavoring to do three things: One, teach the kids some sign language beyond their meager knowledge of "yes" "no" "stop" "please" and "thank you." Stephie knows the sign for "milk" and has started waving hello. I want her communications to be opened up.

Two: give my kids basic Spanish lessons. This sounds like more than it is. I am working on my old high school Spanish and I bought a nice workbook from Barnes & Noble to beef it up. I want to work on vocabulary and eventually work into some basic sentence structure. The reason for both of these languages? I want someone to practice with, and Steve isn't really into it. So I will press my kids into service.

And finally, three: I am trying to write a book. Lord knows I've enough to say, I should have gotten it down a longtime ago. It will be nonfiction and hopefully, funny.

I am *thisclose* to having unpacked all of our boxes from moving. I have a few left over in my craft room, so they're not a top priority, you know? What else has gone on? Stephie turned one, weighs about 15 pounds and is 26 inches long. She is weaned to whole milk in a cup, and it feels quite odd to have my body back. To not have to be home in the evenings in time to feed her, or to watch what foods I eat or medicines I take so they don't bother her. But it is just lovely to sleep in on weekends because Steve can give her a cup of milk.

Katie will be 8 next month and people say she looks like me. She is very into Hannah Montana, and her bathroom is H.M. She is very creative, artistic and crafty. She likes to make things and to help me cook. She loves to play with her baby sister, though sometimes she treats her like a doll. She enjoys school and playing outside.

Jon will be 12. He recently said he preferred to be called Jon, and also changed his favorite color from green to orange. He is in middle school now, and changes classes each subject. He is having a hard time adjusting. If you ask him, he says he had the worst summer ever, because his friend Zack moved away, then we moved away from our old house, where we'd lived for 2 years. He had to start a new school, and worse, *middle* school, where fitting in counts so much. And he doesn't. Changing classes is a huge thing and he has trouble with transitions. I haven't seen him so agitated, ever. There was a bit of bullying at the beginning of the school year but I think it is under control. Now he is upset at not being allowed to play with the neighbor boy because the boy's mom is the nutty possessive neighbor and she won't let her kids play with mine.

Academically both kids are doing fine. Socially, we need to branch out and make a few more friends. I also want to look for some karate or tae kwon do for them to do.

Steve is currently asleep on the couch, while I suffer from insomnia. He doesn't want to go up to bed without me, and I go stir crazy if I just get in teh bed and lay there, or watch TV all night. With all the sleep I haven't been getting, you'd think I would have organized my craft room by now, but no.

I knit. Scarves galore, with a shawl in the works, a few hats and also my first baby sweater bringing up the rear. Tonight I was trying to master the 1x1 rib. It doesnt sound like much but it was driving me bonkers. I have done rows of knit stitch as well as rows of purl stitch before, but doing them one after another in roation... My yarn is twisted like a spiral staircase. It looks SO bad. What stinks is that I hate, hate, hate purling. And I do NOT like the ribbing on the end of this scarf anyway. It has a lovely, simple lace pattern that even an idiot like me can follow, but both ends are done up in 2.5 inches of 1x1 rib. I have to slog through 2.5 inches of stupid rib to get to the pretty part, and then end off with that stupid ribbing also. Have I mentioned how much I hate it?

I was working on the rib and driving myself nuts. I got into a flow, finally, but the yarn just looks like a bag of ass so I am going to bind it off and keep it, and save it. Then after I do the damn stupid ribbing again, properly with no mistakes, I will compare the two ribbed areas and it will make the redo, and even the ribbing crap itself, worth it. Right? Right??? I hope so. OK well I logged on to blog this post as a way to take a break from the ribbing so I didn't snap my needles in half and burn my yarn. Off to try again!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

We moved

I am so tired. We moved from our old place that we were in for about 2 years to near Boston. We will be here for two years. Then...who knows? We have been here about 2 weeks now.

The baby turns one in a few weeks. Jonathan started 7th grade and Katie started second. Steve went back to work and I am slowly chipping away at the boxes in the house. The dogs went on an eating strike for three days after we moved but they are fine now.

More later. I need to lay down. My face hurts.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Insomniac rambling

So here it is, back again. Quarter to three, EST. I felt restless earlier, and I have been gearing up to it for a few days. I just feel like I want to *do* something. This evening I have knitted, read part of a book that made me want to cry, researched my next knitting project which involves learning a new stitch, drank some lovely (caffeine free) pomegranate tea, watched TV, sat in the dark when the power went out, and felt a lot of restlessness. I am too tired to really do anything, but I am too keyed up to sleep. It's fun.

So after I read part of the book, it made me feel like a wet rag. I wanted to snuggle my baby so I crept into the nursery and picked up my little girl. There she was. Soft skin, chubby cheeks and completley trusting. She snuggled up against me and her tiny fingers plucked at my collar even in sleep. I went to lay her back down after a bit, and there was an infomercial on her TV. She can't sleep without noise and we have a tiny TV that she can't see in there. It is just here for noise. I felt bad about her listening to an infomercial when I know she likes Nick at Nite and I went to change the channel and it woke her up.

I heard her flip around and up popped her little head to see who was in her room. She had bright eyes and the cutest little grin. How was she not sleepy? I've no idea. But she was wide awake and squalled when I told her it was sleepy time and tried to leave. So ever the sucker, I picked her up and she clung to me like a little baby monkey. We went and saw Daddy and got a kiss and she rubbed her eyes all sleepy-like and I put her down again. A few sad, pitiful, fake cries that I ignored and she is asleep again.

She made me feel better and I need to close this now and go to sleep.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Killing time

My kids'll be home soon. They went to GA to visit my parents by train for 2 weeks. My dad accompanied them on the trip so they weren't alone. He picked them up and brought them back. Steve went to pick them up from my dad at the train station and they're on the way home. It sounds so complicated but really the first sentence sums it up.

While they were gone we cleaned their rooms. We threw out broken toys, trash and other weird crap they'd been saving. We donated many bags of outsized clothing. We washed walls, vaccuumed and cleaned their upstairs bathroom and hall. The whole upper level is clean. Well, except the ceiling, which has cement-consistency applesauce stuck on it. No one knows how it got up there. It must have been Not Me, a la Family Circle. And I sure as shootin' don't know how to get it off.

I am going to scrub the highchair pad after I post, but today I have cleaned my bathroom, dusted my dining room table, put my carpet shampooer away after it had been out for a week, threw a bunch of trash away from the bar. Holy catalogs, Batman. I need to break out the shredder too. Does anyone know where it is?

My coffee table is cleared off, except my yarn and needles for two projects I am working on. I should put them in the basket that I bought specifically for holding my knitting, which is 3 feet away from me and the coffee table, right now. I am so lazy!

*moves knitting to its basket*

The baby is down for a nap and the dogs' needs are met and I also gave them rawhides to chew on. I have been listening to a movie for background noise as I putter around. Tell me why, whenver I see a birth on TV or in a movie it makes me all sniffy? I am such a sap.

On a completely unrelated note, I have a squeegee to wash my windows with. But I need one like gas stations have, with a strip of sponge as well as the rubber blade because the sad little rubber blade is not cutting it for where my dogs patrol the windows.

I must sound *so* boring. My life is quite ordinary, and I like it that way. We have some pretty set routines which comfort not only my son with Asperger's with their familiarity.

As for the job, Steve has it, supposedly. They gave him an ID badge, a name tag with the job title on it, the previous-occupant-of-the-job's keys, passwords and cell phone. Lord only knows when we are moving. And so today, like the last 35 days, I wait. Not only am I killing time until my kids get home, but I am killing time until we move.

Off to scrub the highchair pad and locate the shredder.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Cleaning house

So today Steve and I spent about 5 hours cleaning one room of the house. Deep cleaning/detailing. One might tentatively call it moving prep, but if we end up not moving, well, at least a ton of crap will have gotten purged from the house. Besides throwing out stuff we don't need, we are also making piles of stuff to donate to charity, or to give to specific people. Yay for our own personal version of "Clean House." That's the show where they do the toss keep & sell piles right? Close enough.

In between cleaning sessions, we went out to lunch, then to the bookstore where I got a book called One Skein Wonders. I have tons of spare odds & ends balls of yarn, and I was excited to get the book. Then I read it and whoa, do I have some knitting skills to pick up. I already have Stitch N Bitch, so it can teach me how to do more stitches, so I can complete these projects.

We also went through Target to get some plastic storage for the kids' crap. I will have to go back and get two more, but oh well. Like a trip to Target is a hardship? I will wait until after Sunday so that I can see what else is on sale.

Steve went to Best Buy to spend his reward bucks before they expired, and I went browsing through the craft store. I decided on a whim to go to Bath & Body Works. Holy sale, Batman! I was able to restrain myself, even though it seemed most of the store was 75-90% off. I just know that I have tons of bath products that I am trying to work my way through. But I loved the scent of the Enchanted Orchid lotion. And I got a Mango Mandarin glycerin soap. I have always loved that scent and I can't wait to finish this post, pump and then go shower with it. It smells *that* good. I also got a cloth bag, regularly $15.00, for $1.50! Whee! I am cheap so I was over the moon!

We came back home and skipped diner because our lunch out was kind of late. I fed the baby, Steve put her to bed and back to cleaning we went. Yay for feeling productive!

That's about it for now. Unless I give a rundown of what we do tomorrow, I will just say Happy Independence Day, now, y'all!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


I was just looking at the new secrets and they have a video link at the bottom. After I watched the link, I saw other little ones pop up. And I watched. After seeing more secrets, I saw a lot of memorials. Most were for grownups.

One was for a baby who was born sick and passed away. There was a picture of him in a Moses basket, dressed in his burial clothes, with his momma weeping off to one side. I can feel her pain radiating off the page. Her face is crumpled and her anguish is palpable.

My heart aches for you, that sweet baby's momma, wherever you are.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The Gift of Fear

Below is a post written on a board I frequent, by an internet friend of mine. These are her thoughts and I thought they bore repeating. See, a second internet friend (let's call her Susie) was harassed and assaulted by a pervert (let's call him Jim) and filed a report against him.

M.T. wrote a wonderful, thoughtful, caring response:


"I studied and taught self-defense for several years, and what you described was a near-textbook example of an aggressor spending a period of time "checking out" and "sizing up" a potential victim. You should not feel guilty about one single thing you did during the encounters, nor feel that you did anything "wrong," but I wanted to tell you a little bit about this so that you can think about it for possible use in future scary situations. Apologies for the length of the post -- I guess this stuff takes up a large space in my brain!

Okay, first off, when Jim kept coming into the store, that icky feeling you eventually got was your gut instinct -- your very body -- trying to protect you by telling you that something was wrong. Your gut instinct is your most powerful ally in a situation like this. Don't ever feel guilty that you didn't "feel funny" sooner or realize something was weird, but as soon as you do get that funny gut feeling, you have the right to act on it, and it's wise to do so.

So Jim kept coming into the store, testing you out, needling you a little, determining how much you'd 'go along' with him, which amounts to how much a risk it was going to be to him to mess with you. Because you were frightened (as anyone would be) and this made you relatively submissive, he apparently determined that you would be an easy mark. (This didn't turn out to be entirely true, btw, because you wouldn't tell him where you lived, you eventually pushed him away and yelled at him, and you have sought resources to help you now and have alerted the police! Yay, you!)

In the future, something you might do when you feel that queasy feeling of, "uh-oh, I can't tell if this person is okay or not, and he's making me feel a little scared, and is he checking me out...?" is called Setting A Boundary. Setting a boundary allows you to be really clear and know exactly what's going on, so you can decide what to do next. You can set a boundary without being really accusatory or escalating the situation. You can even acknowledge that maybe the person is a nice guy and you're just misunderstanding stuff. You simply state clearly what you want, you don't answer questions or get into discussions -- just repeat clearly what you want and see how the guy reacts. This will give you information about him and help you plan what to do next.

So, you could say something like:"Um, I know you're a nice guy and you probably don't mean anything by it, Jim, but I'm not comfortable with the way you're talking to me and hanging around in here. You've made your purchase and I'm gonna have to ask you to leave."(Note: While you are saying this, make yourself look physically strong. Stand on two feet. Don't cross your arms across your chest or try to hide your body or diminish yourself or look smaller. Let your arms hang at your sides or put them on your hips. Make eye contact. Stand like somebody who's proud of herself and ready to stand up for herself. This is actually a visual boundary -- subtle, no?)

Okay. You just set a boundary. Now let's see how Jim reacts. 1. He might say, "Oh, I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to scare you. You're just real cute. I'll leave." This actually happened one time with a strange guy who I asked very brusquely to stop staring at me. He apologized and left! Okay, the fact that he respected my boundary tells me that maybe he was kind of a nice guy who just needed to stop staring at me. Fine. Great. Whatever. 2. He might say, "Oh, man, you think I'm hitting on your or something? Wow, you really think you're hot stuff, huh?" Okay, he is sneering at your boundary and this tells you he's not a particularly nice guy, is he? However, maybe he just feels insulted, so you don't escalate things, you just repeat yourself. "No, I'm just not comfortable with you being in here and I want you to leave."

In this scenario, if he just stands there and kind of argues with you like a dumbass, don't get into it with him. Don't answer questions or argue back with him; that leaves him with the power of controlling the interaction. Just say, "I'm not comfortable telling you that. I want you to leave." If, eventually, he does leave, then breathe a sigh of relief and start preparing your plan for getting the owners to keep him out of the store, or working with a co-worker, or whatever's going to help you be safe in the future. If he doesn't leave, you can threaten to take the next step. Example: "I want you to leave. If you don't, I will call the police."

3. The third possibility is, he might escalate. Coming over and grabbing you like he did was a dangerous, scary, EXTREME breach of your physical boundaries and may well have been the initial stages of a serious sexual assault; that is how you should interpret it. In that situation, you escalate right back. You scream "GET OUT OF HERE! GET AWAY FROM ME!" You scream for help. You run out of the store (for your responsibility is for your own safety, not guarding the store owner's liquor, and I'm sure he would agree). Don't worry about looking weird. People will not think you're weird or stupid --they will look at Jim like the criminal he is. Don't worry about going a little bit batshit if you need to. When he escalates to physical assault as he did, it is time to react.

It's great that you lost it and screamed at him -- maybe consider doing this earlier next time and also, instead of yelling something that doesn't tell him clearly what you want (like "I have a boyfriend!") keep screaming "GET AWAY FROM ME! GET AWAY FROM ME!" and basically keep it up until he's out. Be a broken record that doesn't swerve from the message: GET OUT! Just get a little louder if you have to! Demonstrate that you are not a meek little kitten he can dominate easily. Have a little tantrum. Call the's their job to come help out scared people. Whatever you need to do to show him that you are not the easy prey he has been sizing you up to be. Women who fight back, even in small ways, are statistically likely to be successful.

I'm 34 now, and have had a few occasions to use this boundary-setting, and it has really worked for those situations where I was a little bit uneasy or scared and felt like somebody was 'checking me out.' Once was in a French bar, and a drunk guy wanted me to dance with him. I protested politely a few times, but when he ignored my boundary, grabbed my arm and rubbed against me, I promptly screamed "GET AWAY FROM ME! LEAVE ME ALONE!" in my most batshit manner. Did people think I was weird? No. There was a chorus of "don't mess with the ladies, man," and they immediately threw him out on his ass in the snow, while I went back to my drink. Granted, there were people around, so that wasn't as scary as what you experienced, but the principle is still the same.

We are subtly trained as girls and women not to be loud, not to be rude, not to make a scene. It's very powerful to demonstrate that you are a woman who will. Lastly, a few things that might make you feel safer about the whole thing now: 1. Know that alerting the police gives you more protection from Jim, not less. Creeps like him capitalize on the fact that women might be afraid of reporting them, afraid of fighting back, etc. If he has it in his mind to harm you, then he has it in his mind to harm you, and that does not depend on whether you report him or not. Reporting him is an assertion that you are not a good victim. It is just as likely that he'll be scared to death to come near you now as it is that he'll try to 'retaliate.'

2. Take a good self-defense class, preferably a reputable one that doesn't purport to 'rape-proof' you, and one that spends time on assertiveness and psychological self-defense, rather than simply hammering in a couple of 'fool-proof' physical techniques. (The physical techniques are great, but the first and best defense is your brain, and classes that overlook that aspect are just shoddy). Look for an instructor who is interested in empowering and encouraging women, not some macho goofball who wants to remind you of how weak you are and how much you need this class because otherwise you'll never stand a chance against a Big Strong Man.

3. Is there somewhere else you could stay for a while, or someone else who could stay with you, to make you feel safer about living so near Jim? 4. Do you really feel comfortable working at the store right now? If not, tell the owner and he should understand. 5. Would it make you feel better to beef up the security around your home a bit? 6. Visualize what you might do and how you might react to take care of yourself if you run into Jim again. This isn't paranoid -- it's good planning. 7. Congratulate yourself for making it through a scary, scary encounter and visualize what you might do in the future in similar situations. Good luck, and many, many hugs to you. It sucks that so many women have to deal with freaks like this at some point during our lives."


Now another member of the board had the great idea to put M.T.'s post on her blog to spread the awareness of how a woman can protect herself. My blog post's title refers to the same-titled book. This book came up in the thread as something all ladies should read. I have to go get it so I can read it, but I was told that it talks about listening to your gut instinct can keep you safe. Basically we (womena *and* men) have fear and self-preservation instilled in us, and should "go with our gut" you know?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

No sleep

I was talking to Steve earlier and I told him how I don't sleep when he is gone. This usually lasts for about a week until exhaustion kicks in and then I sleep like a normal person. Well he hasn't been gone a week yet, so I'm up.

I made bread today, so I don't have to buy any at the store tomorrow when I go for milk. I have been buying bread lately but it goes to waste because we haven't been using it as much during the school year. The kids had been buying lunch. Over the summer we are likely to use more bread for sandwiches at lunch but not too soon. My kids are off to my mom's house on Friday for two weeks. So I just made a little loaf. It should do fine.

I also made 2 small chocolate cheesecake balls, covered in pecans, to be eaten with graham crackers. Or a spoon, whatever. I will share with the neighbor, which is why I made 2 small balls instead of the one enormous ball that the recipe made.

I don't know if I mentioned that I have been planning and cookingmeals that use what I have on hand to empty the fridge, freezer and cupboards? Well, I am. But that's about the only moving prep I have gotten done. I have been trying to maintain the house, entertain my kids (impossible) and take care of the baby, and also, I've been sick since Monday afternoon. Ugh. I
think I am on the mend, but who knows what tomorrow brings? Hopefully, it will bring a better-feeling me.

I found the second phone, which was hiding for two days. Katie painted my toenails and I painted hers. I tried to paint the baby's but she has the tiniest toes. Katie also asked me what sperm was? Only she saw it on Dirty Jobs when the host worked on an Alaskan fishing boat. He held up a wad of something that the deckhands informed him was fish sperm. Ugh.

The vocabulary lessons at my house are always fun. Previously, Jonathan asked me what a slut was, since he'd heard the kids on his bus say it. I have had to be his dictionary for many words heard on the damn bus. So he came to me and asked what a tramp was? So I told him a tramp was like a slut. He looked at me, bewildered, and asked about the Disney movie, Lady and the Tramp! Duh to me!

So I had to tell him that for a woman, a tramp is a slut, but in the Disney title, it refers to a male character who also runs the streets, is kinda homeless and like a hobo. Never a dull moment.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


My stomach hurts. It has been bothering me for two and a half days. My guts are griping. I remember when I was sick in February and April, I drank pomegranate tea by the boxful. I first got hooked on it at a local tea place where Katie had a tea party birthday last November. So my thoughts turn to tea and I remember that when Meghan moved, her packers wouldn't pack anything open and she had an open box of pomegranate tea. She gave it to me before she left.

I race to heat up water, and inhale the scent of the tea. Lovely. I get out the sugar bowl. It is hard to get the perfect balance of sugar. Too little and it is a tad bitter. Too much and it's hot sugar water that overwhelms the pom flavor. Ugh, I almost screw it up, but it is salvageable. Only slightly too sweet. I can still taste the tea. I sip. It is the perfect temperature. I hope it soothes my stomach. I drink more, and miss my friend. She gave me the box of tea, and she and her daughter Zoe came to Katie's tea party where we had the pom tea in the first place. I drank the better part of two pots of the stuff. I guzzled it, briefly sharing with the rest of them. It was *that* good.

Meghan called tonight and we caught each other up on bits of news until my phone started beeping low battery. At least I got an hour to talk to her.

I came back in the living room to blog about tea and notice that the dogs (sleeping peacefully alongside me on the couch until I got up to make tea,) have taken the tea prep time to chew up a few crayons on my freshly vaccuumed floor. Crazy weiner dogs.

Time to pump. Another cup of tea, and then maybe some sleep.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bad, bad dogs!

I caught my dogs eating out of the trash can. I had put some leftovers in, and made the rounds of the house to gather all the trash before taking it all out. Tomorrow's trash day, see. Then I was vaccuuming the hall and when I turned around, I saw two weiner dogs on their hind legs, chowing down on leftover garlic-basil chicken. Bad dogs! So they had to go into their crate. Thought you'd want to know.

I've washed the dishes, rounded up laundry and trash, maintained the living room and bathroom, and of course, vaccuumed the hall. Now it's off to feed the baby. Dinner will be "clean random food out of the freezer." Since Steve isn't home tonight, I don't have to cook.

Later tonight I will do some moving prep, which will involve sorting random crap into piles of toss, donate and keep. All in time for trash collection tomorrow. Whee!

Anyone need a rectangular 4 seater table, honey colored wood top and white scrolled metal legs? Or an almost-never-used, heavy, recumbent style exercise bike? Or a big clunker of a TV? It works fine, it just is big. It's not one of those flat screened, light models. $20 each. Come and get 'em.

Monday, June 23, 2008

So busy. So tired.

So today was therapy day. I woke up and my whole day was geared toward taking the baby to therapy. It is an all-day process. It starts at 12:30 but we have to be there no later than 12:15 because she needs to eat before her session starts. We live half an hour away so we have to leave absolutely no later than 11:45, but closer to 11:30 for wiggle room. The baby normally has a morning nap til about noon so I have to wake her early and dress her and get her ready to go, etc.

So the whole day revolves around her physical therapy. It is no big deal when the kids are in school, except now they're out. So I take them to the therapy center and they crawl over the room like ants, inspecting every corner and plaything in there. They weren't bad,jus tnoisy and curious. They didn't seem to bother the therapist. Stephie worked hard and came home tired.

But when we came home I felt like I had to do ten things all needing my attention at once. First, the baby drank her milk at the center but needed a jar of food. She snarfed it in 5 minutes and I had to put her down. I was hungry but I also needed to pump so I could refill by the time she needs to eat again at 4. Then I got to sit down and eat for a minute. I have a headache.

While I was pumping, I asked the kids to pick up the living room. It wasn't enough that I asked them to pick up the living room, I also had to go item by item. Put *this* away, put *that* away. Drives me nuts because they will be 12 and 8 and they have been cleaning the house for a while. They know what to do but I have to be a helicopter and physically make them do it.

I read somewhere that kids do that, but I thought it was when they were closer to being teenagers? I know Jonathan is close, but still. I remember reading two things on the subject. One said that you cannot just tell a kid to clean their room, they must be told specifically what to do, line by line, otherwise they will do the minimum required. It may be easier and faster to do it for them, but to teach the kids to be responsible, they must do it.

The second thing was where a mom had a few kids close in age and they had to take turns cleaning the kitchen, and she listed on a piece of paper exactly what they were supposed to do, down to "throw the dishwasher tablet wrapper in the trash" because she apparently had given birth to the Loophole Gang. Any excuse to do the minimum.

So while I was drill sergeanting my kids, I also thought about what else still needed to be done. Wash dishes, maintain the bathroom, maintain the entryway and sort through the basket of house stuff I cleaned out of the car, vaccuum the living room & clear off the coffee table, clean off the bar again even though I did it 2 days ago, and make dinner, of course. Then, repeat washing dishes...

It never ends. Well rather than jump right on the dishes, I decided to sit down and unload my brain onto the blog. I cannot believe it is 4PM now and I have to feed the baby again! Time flies when you're mentally reviewing your to-do list.

Feed baby, make dinner, wash all dishes rather than washing them twice, do a dirty laundry round up, vaccuum living room and hall, clear coffee table and bar, plan tomorrow's dinner, sort the basket of car stuff, bathe the baby and get the kids' evening routine going. Ugh. Between 4 and 8:30 is my busiest time. I'm tired just thinking about it.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

One more thing

I know I said I needed to pump but I also said every time I have a topic I have no time. So the pumping can wait.

I went and saw the Sex and the City movie even though I have never seen the show. Me, Meghan and Paulette went out to eat, had a Cosmo and saw the movie. I liked it. The show had never interested me before, but it was on today and I caught it. It was nice, brainless TV. Meaning I didn't have to invest myself in it and pay close attention.

I was a bit confused because I saw Carrie with two different men and in the movie she was just with one of them, and also Charlotte appears to be married to someone else. I guess they used a different actor? I don't know. But in the show Charlotte discovers she is infertile just as Miranda discovers she is pregnant. That part of the show hooked me right in and I felt a pang. It has been hanging around all day. I told Steve that I felt out of sorts and didn't know quite why. I felt restless.

Then I noticed that there are pregnancy test commercials every ten minutes and it was irking me. I was reading something online and it put me in tears for no real reason other than it was pregnancy-related. I don't know. We are done having babies. Or at least, Steve is. I wouldn't mind another baby in a few years. But Steve is done and he says that when I am sad over the "no more babies" thing it makes him feel like an asshole. Like I set out out make him feel that way? Let me squash up my sadness into a box and shove it into my mental attic, for his ease and comfort. *insert eyeroll here*

I don't know. I am just looking at, say, 15 years of fertility to avoid. And my body does not tolerate hormones. And I would like another baby. The prospect of moving got me all excited and put this on the back burner for a little while but it is creeping back, and so is the sadness. I don't know how to make it go away. I do my daily activities, I clean, I cook, I parent. I play with and enjoy my kids. I have my hobbies. But it is always there. :-(

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I can't believe it has been a month

Every few days my brain has a lovely topic to blog about and I have no time. I have no time now, since I need to pump here in a few minutes and try to get to bed at a decent hour but I figured I could go ahead and let some of the extra thoughts out of my brain.

So. My friend Meghan moved away. I know we are a military family but still, it was hard. I threw myself in to helping her clean and check out of her house to distract myself from her moving. It worked. I tried to make a clean getaway as soon as she turned in her keys. I was going to take the kids and go out and get a bite to eat, when lo and behold, they had the same idea, so we all had lunch at a local place. I was trying to tell myself that they were just going away on vacation. I was (and still am) in denial. I didn't watch them drive away.

It hurts to look at their house, which is right down the street from my own. I love her kids as my own. I took a lot of pictures and uploaded them to and they screwed up my whole picture order and now I have to take my camera card to a Kodak machine and do it myself. Ugh. My pics are not blurry, CVS screwed up. But looking at the pictures made me sad and I didn't have the heart to harass the CVS people. I will just go to Wal Mart and do it myself. I used to call Meghan in the evening and ask if she wanted to make a run to the store with me for milk or whatever, and it was on the tip of my tongue to do so ever since she left. And it make sme sad again. I made cards for every member of her family to flood their mailbox, and I was going to include pictures for everyone and then CVS screwed up my order and now I have to get them reprinted so I cannot mail them until Monday. I wanted to mail them today and now I can't. Can you hear me stamping my foot?

So we might be moving. The Navy is yanking my chain and prolonging my agony by waiting as long as posisble to give me an answer but it appears that we are most likely moving to Boston. I am all for it. The prospect of moving is a great distraction from Meghan's moving. I am going room by room, throwing out crap and boxing up things to donate. I am starting to detail clean. I want to move. I would be back on a base, with a commissary. My food and fuel bills woudl be cut dramatically. I would be back in a military environment. My kids' schools would be right there in housing just like in California. I would be in close proximity to a ChikFilA for the first time in over two years. Obviously I have thought it over. Ha! Come on, Navy! Throw me a bone!

What else? Today, June 21st, the baby cut her first tooth on the bottom left. It *just* popped through and I can feel it but not see it yet. She will be 9 months/7.5 months corrected on the 30th. She likes to hold your fingers to steady herself in a standing position but hates to sit and declines stubbornly to learn how. She is a pain in the butt with her physical therapy because she is very resistant to do it. She is all coos and smiles when you let her be, but if you make her work, her face is somber and she looks at you through narrowed eyes. The coos are replaced with grunts and growls. She is very determined. She is finishing her last pack of size 2 diapers and moving into a size 3 soon. She just now fits newborn or size one shoes, and wears six month clothing. She is a bitty little thing, only 13 pounds. She nurses and eats food at each feed, except her bedtime nursing. She loves to eat. She is just a petite girl.

Jonathan has zits and I can't believe he turns 12 this year. He finished 6th grade. before I know it he will be in high school and I will be old. He went to a friend's birthday party tonight. It was from 6-10 pm and I thought, "Oh no, now the nighttime parties begin." It warmed my heart to hear that the last hour of the party was when the kids played Flashlight Tag outdoors, under cover of warm, summer darkness. Like kids. Not all grown up yet, eh? Yay!

Katie is still adjusting to being in the middle. We all talked about how it seems the baby gets all the attention. I told both of the older kids that it might seem like the newcomers get tons of attention for silly things, but what they don't remember is that we were just as wildly excited when we saw them do something silly. She adores her baby sister but now there is a different part of being in the middle--Jonathan is older now and he gets to do more, like go to birthday parties for *his* friends. Once upon a time, the birthday invitations might have said "Siblings welcome." Not so, anymore.

She is pretty good about rolling with it, but at times she just seems to test her limits. She will ask me the same question over and over in a hopes that my "no" will become a "yes." But I am a mean mommy who tries to be consistent, and I just tell her that I have already answered her. She is excellent at pouting and moping. Moody little thing. She reminds me of me.

Steve went to a retirement this weekend; a four-hour drive each way. He is beat like a bad dog.

Speaking of bad dogs, Cookie keeps trying to run off with a little dolly baby that I bought the baby. Cookie wants that dolly baby very badly. She also has the capability to leap four feet in the air, effortlessly. You can be sitting there and she can launch herself at you. You don't even see it coming. There is no lunge. She is just *there.* Clearly she is made of springs and a lack of self control. Well she can find that dolly baby anywhere and she takes it right to her bed and tries to gnaw on her. If I see her with it in her mouth, she runs. She really wants it. Why? I don't know.

Max is more sedate and cannot jump as high, but he still does this cute bunny run. He also runs faster than Cookie, though not by much. I love to watch them bunny run, side by side, big bat-ears flapping madly! Max is a bad dog too. He has discovered a taste for baby food and loves to inspect the baby to see if her face needs licking. Back off, weiner dog! He can be found behind Steve's chair with an empty plastic tub of baby food, licking it clean. He snitches those plastic tubs off tables or out of the trash and goes to town.

So what about me? I am working on a scrapbooking album, an ABCs of New England album. A is for autumn leaves and lord knows I got enough pictures of those. F is for Fenway, C is for CT, and I am hoping that one of the B pictures will be captioned B is for Boston. It's not just big things, I am doing little things, like S is for Snow, S is also for Stephanie. Anyway, it is fun to put together and I advise anyone in a scrapping slump to put one together.

By this time next week my two older kids will be visiting my parents for a few weeks. Hopefully if we move, it will be done while they are gone. That would be so much easier. My dad is taking a plane up here and they are taking a train down to my parents' house. They will go on their first train ride, and I am jealous. I am going to provide them with a camera so they can get lots of pictures for me.

Not much else going on for me. I am kinda boring. Meh. I have talked for an hour, and now I really need to pump. Adios for now, y'all.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A few maternity pictures from last year & some yammering

Starting from the top, two outtakes. The blurry one looks like I am trying to chase someone holding a donut. Nom nom nom!
The second one is me saying "hold on" while laughing my head off. I had a lot of fun that day, taking pictures. My neighbor Meghan took pictures of me with her digital camera and she motivated me to go get a digital camera of my own. I did, too. Two days later and it was perfect timing because look at the date on the photos! Five days before Stephanie was born!
Third pic, I love it. I wanted the focus to be just on my belly and the ultrasound but I guess the idea looked better in my head than on film because the collection of headless Jenn belly shots is creepy. But I love this one despite its imperfections. Meghan made me laugh in this one too, and you can see it at the top.
Fourth, autumn leaves for my autumn baby.
Last, a close up, profile belly shot with my horribly-tied, hand-tied bow. I like the bow in its own ugly little way. I also like the way this close up turned out, different from the creepy headless Jenn shots.
There are more pictures--I have only posted a few. I just wanted to post some here so you all could see. I had all the pictures loaded on a flash drive and lost it. For 7 months. Yes, I am a dork.
I have been kind of hibernating lately. Now that warm weather is here I suppose I'll have to un-hibernate but lately I have been grouchy as a bear. Just ask Steve! I have been dealing with some stressful crap, besides the trigeminal neuralgia and the pneumonia that y'all already know about. I will talk about that some other time.
The kids are almost done with school. Katie is finishing second grade and Jonathan, sixth. He had his very first migraine the other day. Poor Jonathan!
Katie will be attending a (weeklong, I think?) New England Patriots Cheerleader camp this summer, where the cheerleaders will teach her how to cheer and then she gets to cheer for the Pats during the first preseason game, which Steve and Jonathan will be attending. And taking pictures, of course!
The dogs are still weineriffic. Steve bought 27 Dresses, Juno, and National Treasure 2. I like them all. Y'all should watch them.
I am trying to respark my interest in scrapping by making an ABC album of New England. We will see how that turns out. I will post layouts when I start it. Right now I am in the planning and picture taking stages. A is for Autumn leaves, B is for Belchertown and Boston Red Sox. That sort of thing. I took a picture of the baby after she scooted under the coffee table, because U is for Under, and Umbrellas in the Rain. Next time it rains, I am shoving the kids out the door with umbrellas and boots on. I just hope it's not cold!
Each kid is getting two pages of their own. J is for Jonathan, K is for Katie and S is for Stephanie. Plus, E is for Eighth birthday, T is for Twelfth birthday and O is for One Year Old. Obviously these pictures will come later but I can do the pages ahead of time.
Anyway, I am going to go ahead and post this. TTYL.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Pneumonia sucks...the air right out of my lungs!

I woke at 3 AM on Tuesday unable to breathe, but convinced it was just a little congestion. Surely a shower would clear it right up? I was breathing so shallowly I could not walk or hold my baby. Gee, this might be bad. I'll call the neighbor to come sit with me & help me with the baby but I'll be fine. Sure.

Steve insisted that I call my doctor's office when he couldn't really get me to speak coherently. I don't know if y'all have noticed--I am a little stubborn. I promised I'd call when they opened and shooed him off to work. Never mind that he had to wake me up when I fell asleep sitting up nursing the baby. I was convinced I would be fine. I'm a dork. Things went downhill fast, but the baby was asleep in her swing.

Within an hour, I'd called the dr who said, "Don't come for an office visit! Pick an Emergency Room, any ER, and GO. Call 911 if you feel even more short of breath." Um, ok.

Steve turned back on his way to work & brought me in, the neighbor kept the baby, and I was delusional by the time I got there. Apparently I was moving so little oxygen that I wasn't just nodding off all morning, I was sort of passing out. And I was in the ER from 1030AM to 8PM when I got a room. I didn't feel the repeated IV attempts, I peed all over myself, and I would spike fevers and say I was going to throw up, and there's Steve with a barf bucket at the ready, and instead I'd break the fever in a shower of sweat!

The dr asked Steve if I was always so pale? I am normally red & flushed. The nurses were talking about my white lips. I sweated like a freakin' hog. Fun times. So the dr does a chest Xray and says I have "a spectacular case" of pneumonia. When I exhale I can hear the crackling. Ugh. They admit me and I wait many hours for a room.

And some pervy man was hitting on me. Imagine a large, pasty woman, sweating so much that her hair is now a Jenn-fro. I look like a damn lion. I have urinated on myself. I smell like a men's room. I am wearing ratty, around-the-house clothes (but clean undies, Momma!) and I am out of it. I woke up face-planted on my stretcher with my ass in the air and one foot dangling off. My nurse said she didn't want to disturb me so she was just watching to make sure I was breathing. But apparently this was like, what? Hospital porn? for the guy on the stretcher behind me, commenting on my lack of wedding band with a leer in his eye. I left my valuables at home, buddy! But I guess now I am drool-worthy? Steve thought it was hi-larious.

So, hospital time was boring & repetitive. And no private room. My roommate was nice and slept a lot but still, sharing a toilet was hard because there was nowhere else to go if she was in there. They let me use a hospital breast pump and gave me meds that were compatible with nursing.

I ran the aforementioned sweaty-hog fevers, I coughed up blood, my hair remained a Jenn-fro, I had problems with my IV falling out and I have a scary bruise to show for it. I am home now and can't walk more than 5 feet without getting winded. But I'm home. Time to feed the baby.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

April is Autism Awareness Month

So on a board I frequent, there is a thread about parents of kids with Asperger's. I posted about how Jonathan's behavior has been changing lately. Is he stimming more, and with more exaggerated movements due to stress or because I haven't been on his back as the behavior modification police lately? Finding a balance bothers me, because I want him to learn to blend in as much as possible. Life sucks enough without sticking out like a sore thumb for being "different." But on the same token, when all I do is correct his behavior, it makes me feel like there is something wrong with him that needs to be fixed.

I don't want him thinking that. I want to channel his energy and help him to thrive but it feels like I am a fun-sucker. If he is being loud and I quiet him, am I overthinking it? Is he really being too loud or am I just sensitive because we are in public? Am I being too hard when I limit the areas that he can stim? At home he is allowed to stim in his room or outdoors. If he gets carried away in the common areas of the house, I refer him to our rules. They are posted on the wall on huge posterboard for constant reinforcement. But I feel bad for constantly harping on him to maintain quiet hands in the house.

Guilt sucks. I tell myself over & over that he needs the structure and routin and the predictability from me & Steve, but some days I feel horrible (and exhausted, by day's end) after spending all day as the behavior modification police. I try to tell myself that I am doing the right thing, but you know moms, always second guessing oneself.

Anyway, I am going to close for now. I really need to blog more. This once-a-month stuff is nonsense. What's the point of having a blog if I don't use it?

Finally, my book recommendation for today is "All Cats Have Asperger Syndrome" by Kathy Hoopmann. It is cute and describes Asperger's to a "T" in a lighthearted way.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

What's that line about the road to hell?

It is paved with good intentions. I had every intention of keeping up the treadmill routine, but got sick with the plague for two solid weeks. I have no willpower. After I was better, Steve encouraged me to get back on, and I did once, but since then he has not "told" me to. I know I have my own free will, but I am just lazy when I have no one holding me accountable. I am a chump. A fat one.

Today I took the baby to get her 5th RSV vaccine. She will be 5 months and one week on Sunday. She is now 12 pounds, 4 ounces. She smiles, coos, belly laughs, and babbles random sounds. She wriggles and uses her toes for propulsion to do the oddest commando crawl you've ever seen. It's not a true crawl, but she can move forward a bit before she gets tired.

We are still nursing, and it seems that time has flown! I am nearly halfway through my nursing year! I have her on a schedule and she sleep-trained suspiciously easy. I imagine she will rebel against it when she is teething or sick.

I am enchanted by all that she does, as if she were my firstborn. I spend the day feeding her and playing with her, trying to strengthen her muscles since she cannot prop up yet, and is still kind of a bobblehead. The pediatrician put in a referral for the Early Intervention people to do a home visit to watch what she can do, and recommend exercises or activities to help her get stronger.

So today was an ordinary day. Doctor appointment in the morning, crabby all afternoon. Thankfully she still ate normally. All the kids went to bed on time, yay. Steve did laundry and I cleaned the living room, which included unclogging the vaccuum so I could get the carpets clean. I also scrubbed under 1/3 of my kitchen's counters-- the kick board areas, with a hard scrubby brush as well as a toothbrush to really get down in there. Usually when I mop the floor, it looks nice, except for the kickboard area. Once I finish the scrubbing and mopping, the floors will look *really* nice. At least until the next spill, right?

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Day two is a success!

So I feel yucky today, but I did not allow myself to use it as an excuse to bail out. I gave myself 0 minutes of sitting my butt, acknowledging that I felt awful. I also picked up the phone, since talking to my friends usually makes me feel better. Thanks, Michelle, for listening to me whine and giving me encouragement to go downstairs to the treadmill! I did my 30 minutes/ 1 mile and I feel good about myself. I still feel yucky but at least I don't have the no-treadmill guilt to make me feel worse.

I left the baby upstairs asleep and had the monitor with me. I heard her wake up before I was done but I only had 4 minutes left and she wasn't crying, just cooing and looking for me. The dogs were irritated at me, perched at the top of the stairs, ears on high alert. They could not understand why I didn't rush upstairs the minute she woke up. They took off running as soon as they saw me coming, to "lead" me to the baby. They are good dogs. Wait until she starts pulling their tails.

In other news, we have achieved poop! The baby did not poop for 11 days. I did some research online and asked some ladies online also. She was not in any pain, her belly was soft, she wasn't fussy, I bicycled her legs, her appetite & activity were fine, she just wasn't pooping. I read that some breastfed babies use up all the milk and there's nothing left to poop out, and that 10 or 11 days can be normal. Still, I wondered. I shouldn't have been concerned because she exploded late last night. We had her in old clothes but had to throw them away anyway. We also had to give her a bath. It appears that she was not constipated, since her poops were mustardy pudding, like normal. Ugh. But I am glad she finally went.

Anyway. An ordinary day. A little coating of snow here today. Homemade cheeseburgers for dinner. And now it is time to feed the baby, so I will post tomorrow!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

What are you doing for Lent?

No, I am not Catholic, but I do like the idea of giving something up to see if I can do it. Most of my past attempts were horrible failures. That whole, "the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" thing.

So this year, rather than attempt to deprive myself of something, I am going to try to *do* something each day. I am going to go on the treadmill 30 minutes per day, walking at least a mile. I've already done today's walk, with the baby in the swing beside me.

I am going to start easy, walking whenever I can and eventually settling into a routine. But if I try to immediately set up a routine and say, "I will wake at X time, do this, that, and the other, and then walk," I think I am setting myself up for failure the first day I don't (or don't want to) get up at X time.

I am going to try to post each day and be held accountable for walking. So encourage me, people! Post messages asking if I have done my walking!